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Beyond the American Classic: 6 Unique Ways to Incorporate Mac and Cheese

https://www.lifesavvy.com/12549/beyond-the-american-classic-6-unique-ways-to-incorporate-mac-and-cheese/

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fried mac and cheese balls on a cutting board with sauce
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

You probably loved some form of boxed mac as a kid and later enjoyed the pleasures of baked homemade macaroni and cheese. But, have you ever tried it on pizza, or in a BBQ Beef Sandwich?

It makes a fantastic side dish to many American classic entrees, but why not take this famous traditional comfort food to the next level? From fried mac and cheese balls to chili mac, we’ve got something special for you.

Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

A few fried mac and cheese balls on a cookie sheet
Damn Delicious

This trendy fried food is popular in restaurants, and you can find it during most early fall carnivals. So, why not try it at home? Whether you have extra mac and cheese leftover from last night’s dinner or an additional box of easy mac in your pantry, this recipe works.

After your mac has cooled in the fridge for a few hours, you’ll notice it gets firm as the cheese gets cold. Using a cookie scoop, you’ll make equally sized balls that you then dip into egg and Panko breadcrumbs. After frying, you’ll have crispy golden-brown balls of fried goodness.

This makes for the perfect game day appetizer or party addition. You can’t go wrong with fried food, especially when it’s a family favorite like macaroni and cheese.

Get the Recipe: Damn Delicious

Mac Attack (Cheeseburger)

A cheeseburger stuffed with cheese macaroni
Food Network, Courtesy of Paul Malvone

If you’re hoping for something healthy, keep scrolling because this one is full of fattening and delicious ingredients. However, if you’re hoping for something that’ll make your taste buds dance, then this one is for you.

Homemade mac and cheese mixed with a hot sauce of your choice, formed into patties and placed on top of burger patties. Can’t forget about the sliced bacon, in case this doesn’t sound enticing enough as it is.

For a little extra guidance, watch the helpful tutorial video. Grab a beer or soda, because you’ll surely need to wash this one down.

Get the Recipe: Food Network

Grilled Mac and Cheese Sandwich

A grilled (mac and cheese) sandwich
Spend with Pennies

Here’s another recipe that gives you the choice of homemade or stovetop macaroni. Whichever you choose works excellent for this delicious lunchtime treat. The author also recommends making this with tomato soup for a perfect combo.

If you’ve ever made grilled cheese, then you can certainly make this sandwich, too. Just add the mac and cheese inside of your sandwich and enjoy watching your kids love each bite. In case you were wondering, you don’t actually need to have kids around to make this one. This meal is adult-friendly, too.

Get the Recipe: Spend with Pennies

Mac-N-Cheese Pizza

A pan mac and cheese pizza
All Recipes

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got a trend going on here. Every one of these meals falls under the stereotypical foods that most kids love to eat. So, why not combine classic children’s meals that your whole family will eat?

This gives you the perfect excuse to ditch take-out pizza and replace it with this two-in-one masterpiece. With only a few ingredients, this easy-to-make meal is one you’ll enjoy serving time and again.

Get the Recipe: All Recipes

Barbecue Mac Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

a barbecued and Mac 'n Cheese sandwich, grilled and plated
BunsInMyOven

Shredded barbecue beef with freshly made macaroni and cheese come together so nicely between two slices of sourdough bread. Just add a slice of cheddar to that extra cheesy boost, and you have quite a sandwich in front of you.

If you aren’t a fan of beef, try pulled pork instead. Either way, the tender cooked meat complements cheesy macaroni so nicely, so why not combine them into one meal.

Serve this one with a side of sweet potato fries or tater tots, and savor each bite.

Get the Recipe: Buns in my Oven

Chili Mac ‘n Cheese

chili Mac and cheese in a bowl with sour cream and garnish
Tasty

Chili is one of those classic hearty meals that taste great, especially on a chilly evening. Here, you get to try it with mac and cheese incorporated. How clever.

If you like chili, macaroni and cheese, and goulash, you pretty much get to enjoy all three meals combined into one.

This classic chili recipe is extra cheesy and uses cavatappi pasta for a fancy flair. Sprinkle with additional cheddar and a dollop of sour cream for the perfect winter meal.

Get the Recipe: Tasty

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These ten enterprise M&A deals totaled over $40B in 2019

It would be hard to top the 2018 enterprise M&A total of a whopping $87 billion, and predictably this year didn’t come close. In fact, the top 10 enterprise M&A deals in 2019 were less than half last year’s, totaling $40.6 billion. This year’s biggest purchase was Salesforce buying Tableau for $15.7 billion, which would…

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These ten enterprise M&A deals totaled over $40B in 2019

It would be hard to top the 2018 enterprise M&A total of a whopping $87 billion, and predictably this year didn’t come close. In fact, the top 10 enterprise M&A deals in 2019 were less than half last year’s, totaling $40.6 billion.

This year’s biggest purchase was Salesforce buying Tableau for $15.7 billion, which would have been good for third place last year behind IBM’s mega deal plucking Red Hat for $34 billion and Broadcom grabbing CA Technologies for $18.8 billion.

Contributing to this year’s quieter activity was the fact that several typically acquisitive companies — Adobe, Oracle and IBM — stayed mostly on the sidelines after big investments last year. It’s not unusual for companies to take a go-slow approach after a big expenditure year. Adobe and Oracle bought just two companies each with neither revealing the prices. IBM didn’t buy any.

Microsoft didn’t show up on this year’s list either, but still managed to pick up eight new companies. It was just that none was large enough to make the list (or even for them to publicly reveal the prices). When a publicly traded company doesn’t reveal the price, it usually means that it didn’t reach the threshold of being material to the company’s results.

As always, just because you buy it doesn’t mean it’s always going to integrate smoothly or well, and we won’t know about the success or failure of these transactions for some years to come. For now, we can only look at the deals themselves.

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Jumia, DHL, and Alibaba will face off in African ecommerce 2.0

The business of selling consumer goods and services online is a relatively young endeavor across Africa, but ecommerce is set to boom. Over the last eight years, the sector has seen its first phase of big VC fundings, startup duels and attrition. To date, scaling e-commerce in Africa has straddled the line of challenge and…

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Jumia, DHL, and Alibaba will face off in African ecommerce 2.0

The business of selling consumer goods and services online is a relatively young endeavor across Africa, but ecommerce is set to boom.

Over the last eight years, the sector has seen its first phase of big VC fundings, startup duels and attrition.

To date, scaling e-commerce in Africa has straddled the line of challenge and opportunity, perhaps more than any other market in the world. Across major African economies, many of the requisites for online retail — internet access, digital payment adoption, and 3PL delivery options — have been severely lacking.

Still, startups jumped into this market for the chance to digitize a share of Africa’s fast growing consumer spending, expected to top $2 billion by 2025.

African e-commerce 2.0 will include some old and new players, play out across more countries, place more priority on internet services, and see the entry of China.

But before highlighting several things to look out for in the future of digital-retail on the continent, a look back is beneficial.

Jumia vs. Konga

The early years for development of African online shopping largely played out in Nigeria (and to some extent South Africa). Anyone who visited Nigeria from 2012 to 2016 likely saw evidence of one of the continent’s early e-commerce showdowns. Nigeria had its own Coke vs. Pepsi-like duel — a race between ventures Konga and Jumia to out-advertise and out-discount each other in a quest to scale online shopping in Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation.

Traveling in Lagos traffic, large billboards for each startup faced off across the skyline, as their delivery motorcycles buzzed between stopped cars.

Covering each company early on, it appeared a battle of VC attrition. The challenge: who could continue to raise enough capital to absorb the losses of simultaneously capturing and creating an e-commerce market in notoriously difficult conditions.

In addition to the aforementioned challenges, Nigeria also had (and continues to have) shoddy electricity.

Both Konga — founded by Nigerian Sim Shagaya — and Jumia — originally founded by two Nigerians and two Frenchman — were forced to burn capital building fulfillment operations most e-commerce startups source to third parties.

That included their own delivery and payment services (KongaPay and JumiaPay). In addition to sales of goods from mobile-phones to diapers, both startups also began experimenting with verticals for internet based services, such as food-delivery and classifieds.

While Jumia and Konga were competing in Nigeria, there was another VC driven race for e-commerce playing out in South Africa — the continent’s second largest and most advanced economy.

E-tailers Takealot and Kalahari had been jockeying for market share since 2011 after raising capital in the hundreds of millions of dollars from investors Naspers and U.S. fund Tiger Global Management.

So how did things turn out in West and Southern Africa? In 2014, the lead investor of a flailing Kalahari — Naspers — facilitated a merger with Takealot (that was more of an acquisition). They nixed the Kalahari brand in 2016 and bought out Takelot’s largest investor, Tiger Global, in 2018. Takealot is now South Africa’s leading e-commerce site by market share, but only operates in one country.

In Nigeria, by 2016 Jumia had outpaced its rival Konga in Alexa ratings (6 vs 14), while out-raising Konga (with backing of Goldman Sachs) to become Africa’s first VC backed, startup unicorn. By early 2018, Konga was purchased in a distressed acquisition and faded away as a competitor to Jumia.

Jumia went on to expand online goods and services verticals into 14 Africa countries (though it recently exited a few) and in April 2019 raised over $200 million in an NYSE IPO — the first on a major exchange for a VC-backed startup operating in Africa.

Jumia’s had bumpy road since going public — losing significant share-value after a short-sell attack earlier in 2019 — but the continent’s leading e-commerce company still has heap of capital and generates $100 million in revenues (even with losses).

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Airbnb’s New Year’s Eve guest volume shows its falling growth rate

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between. It’s finally 2020, the year that should bring us a direct listing from home-sharing giant Airbnb, a technology company valued at tens of billions of dollars. The company’s flotation will be a key event in…

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Airbnb’s New Year’s Eve guest volume shows its falling growth rate

Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

It’s finally 2020, the year that should bring us a direct listing from home-sharing giant Airbnb, a technology company valued at tens of billions of dollars. The company’s flotation will be a key event in this coming year’s technology exit market. Expect the NYSE and Nasdaq to compete for the listing, bankers to queue to take part, and endless media coverage.

Given that that’s ahead, we’re going to take periodic looks at Airbnb as we tick closer to its eventual public market debut. And that means that this morning we’re looking back through time to see how fast the company has grown by using a quirky data point.

Airbnb releases a regular tally of its expected “guest stays” for New Year’s Eve each year, including 2019. We can therefore look back in time, tracking how quickly (or not) Airbnb’s New Year Eve guest tally has risen. This exercise will provide a loose, but fun proxy for the company’s growth as a whole.

The numbers

Before we look into the figures themselves, keep in mind that we are looking at a guest figure which is at best a proxy for revenue. We don’t know the revenue mix of the guest stays, for example, meaning that Airbnb could have seen a 10% drop in per-guest revenue this New Year’s Eve — even with more guest stays — and we’d have no idea.

So, the cliche about grains of salt and taking, please.

But as more guests tends to mean more rentals which points towards more revenue, the New Year’s Eve figures are useful as we work to understand how quickly Airbnb is growing now compared to how fast it grew in the past. The faster the company is expanding today, the more it’s worth. And given recent news that the company has ditched profitability in favor of boosting its sales and marketing spend (leading to sharp, regular deficits in its quarterly results), how fast Airbnb can grow through higher spend is a key question for the highly-backed, San Francisco-based private company.

Here’s the tally of guest stays in Airbnb’s during New Years Eve (data via CNBC, Jon Erlichman, Airbnb), and their resulting year-over-year growth rates:

  • 2009: 1,400
  • 2010: 6,000 (+329%)
  • 2011: 3,1000 (+417%)
  • 2012: 108,000 (248%)
  • 2013: 250,000 (+131%)
  • 2014: 540,000 (+116%)
  • 2015: 1,100,000 (+104%)
  • 2016: 2,000,000 (+82%)
  • 2017: 3,000,000 (+50%)
  • 2018: 3,700,000 (+23%)
  • 2019: 4,500,000 (+22%)

In chart form, that looks like this:

Let’s talk about a few things that stand out. First is that the company’s growth rate managed to stay over 100% for as long as it did. In case you’re a SaaS fan, what Airbnb pulled off in its early years (again, using this fun proxy for revenue growth) was far better than a triple-triple-double-double-double.

Next, the company’s growth rate in percentage terms has slowed dramatically, including in 2019. At the same time the firm managed to re-accelerate its gross guest growth in 2019. In numerical terms, Airbnb added 1,000,000 New Year’s Eve guest stays in 2017, 700,000 in 2018, and 800,000 in 2019. So 2019’s gross adds was not a record, but it was a better result than its year-ago tally.

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